New Delhi: The Centre has continued to strongly defend its strategy to impose a nationwide lockdown in late March in order to contain COVID-19 outbreak in the country and on Friday it said that it was a timely and necessary intervention that was backed by scientific advice.
The fresh claim that the disease is under control in India and there is no undercurrent of coronavirus surge in the country came even as nearly 1700 new cases were recorded in just 24 hours taking the total number of confirmed cases past 23,000 mark.
“We would have had over one lakh COVID 19 cases by now if containment strategies like lockdown would not have been in place,” said Dr V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog who also heads the national task force on COVID 19 outbreak.
"Our analysis shows lockdown has been effective in slowing the doubling rate of COVID-19, which was 3.3 days before the lockdown but has now reached nearly 10 days,” he added citing projections and analysis by a group of independent researchers.
Paul added that while there has been no unusual surge of patients with respiratory illnesses in hospitals—a sign that the infection had not grown exponentially in the country—two other markers also proved the same.
“There has not been a rise in hospitalizations under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana and an assessment has shown that there has not been a spike of demands for drugs for fever and cough in the country,” he said. PMJAY is a central scheme that offers cashless hospitalization to a large number of people from marginalised communities.
Dr Sujeet Singh, director, National Centre For Disease Control and also a member of the task force said that lockdown helped in keeping the infected population from the susceptible population, which helped in stabilising the growth of COVID-19 cases.
He said that nearly 9.45 lakh suspected cases of COVID 19--traced by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme-- are under surveillance and in either facility or home quarantine.
Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the number of cases that have not reported new cases of the infection in the last 28 days has now increased to 15. These districts had the previous history of COVID 19.